We Need Each Other
BY PASTOR BETH BEADLE | NEW LIFE WORSHIP PASTOR BEULAH CAMPUS
This summer, my grandsons and I made a trip out to Yellowstone National Park. I love Yellowstone and everything about it. This wasn’t our first trip. One of the things that I find fascinating about the park is the wildlife.
On our previous visits, we had always made every attempt to find a bear in the wild. We were never successful. But the rangers always insisted that we hike together. Why? Because bears are less likely to attack groups of people. They tend to separate one out by him or herself. The rangers always taught there was safety in numbers.
When I was a child, we were a society centered on family. Both sets of grandparents lived less than 10 miles away from us. Aunts, uncles, and cousins were nearby and gatherings always consisted of this extended family. These days, and with the rise of social media and the computer generation, we are a much more individualistic culture. Often, we live far away from where we were raised. Most of our connections are with those we work with, and they are shallow and can be short lived.
Even toddlers and teenagers like to declare their independence and prove to us that they don’t NEED us to make it through the day. Striving for this independence is a healthy part of growing into functioning adults. But it can be unhealthy when people try to “do it all” by themselves. Then independence can be driven more by stubborn pride!
We must recognize our need for God and for each other. The Holy Spirit empowers the community of believers with the spiritual gifts and abilities necessary to do the work of growing His kingdom. Individual believers cannot successfully do this alone. There is great power in living and working together in unity, recognizing and supporting the gifts, talents, and abilities of others in the community of Jesus.
We all have our place, and we all have purpose. We all have gifts to offer, and God values each one of us as His favorite. Not only were we created to be in community but we also NEED community. Just as in Yellowstone, there is safety in numbers in our spiritual journey.
There may not be bears in our everyday life, but the Bible talks of foxes, wolves, and even roaring lions who seek to destroy us. Satan attempts to distract us with temptations. We need godly brothers and sisters who can watch our back. We need to be connected in community where we can all be on alert together for the dangers that are all around us.
We need each other! We need to trust, rely on, and depend on other believers. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the MORE as you see the Day drawing near.”
According to scripture, we are to carry each other’s burdens, warn others of sin, and rejoice and mourn with each other. We do this in community of small groups.
We did end up taking some hikes in bear country and actually saw two grizzlies and a black bear this summer. From a nice distance of course! But according to the rangers, we were definitely safer in a group. And we are safer in the body of Christy when we are in community. Though society might tell us that we can and should do life on our own, God’s word tells us that we simply can’t function without each other (See 1 Corinthians 12). We need each other, and we need community!!